We were contacted by Bath Abbey inviting us to submit proposals for their Footprint project. Footprint is a transformative programme of interpretation, sustainable energy and capital works that will provide new and restored spaces for all the users of the Abbey. Our task was to the help the public understand the project while the work was underway. We are asked to create a series of designs to be used externally, on printed materials and online.

Drawing on Bath Abbey's rich history

Bath Abbey required a visual representation of the project showing the Abbey and the spaces to be refurbished or created. Naturally, the designs needed to be visually engaging and informative about the project. We felt there was also an opportunity to draw on the Bath Abbey’s story to provide an educational element. The Abbey had indicated that a young audience was equally important in this exercise as adults, so something to engage the whole family was the answer.

Our solution was to find six historical characters from Bath Abbey’s past and team them up with the six aspects of the Footprint project. For example, Abbess Bertana, from early in the Abbey’s history, showed visitors how the refurbished Worship Spaces will look. John Harvey, a 16th stone mason known to work at Bath Abbey, explained how the stone floors would be repaired. Once we had agreed this concept with the Abbey we created a series of character illustrations and accompanying visualisations of the new spaces. Educational content was incorporated in mini descriptions of each character, allowing visitors to learn about the people as well as the place.

"The new leaflets went down so well with families. We estimate usage rose about 50% compared to the same time last year."

Visitor Services Manager, Bath Abbey

Launching the project

Once the main graphic elements were all completed, Bath Abbey asked us to design a series of large format graphics to be used as hoardings that run around the perimeter of the Abbey during the building and restoration works.

The historical characters were used in playful ways to encourage visitors to interact and find out more. Large scale reproductions of the characters allowed for selfie opportunities. We also provided Bath Abbey with a range of graphics for print and online use. This gave them all the tools they needed to promote Footprint throughout the various phases of work. The Bath Abbey team were delighted with the concept and reported the characters as going down a storm with the public. The designs have subsequently been used in visitor leaflets and are set to become an on-going part of Bath Abbey’s marketing assets.

"It has been a great pleasure to work with Bob and I’ll certainly be recommending and finding opportunities to work with them again in the future."

Head of Interpretation, Learning and Engagement, Bath Abbey

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